Can a family bury on their own property?
Oklahoma has no state law prohibiting a burial on private property.
Generally, local ordinances, zoning laws, or deed restrictions prohibit burials outside a cemetery when it is within city limits. They don’t want bodies buried “here and there” in shallow graves.
You may need to meet requirements and health code. Contact the Board of Health to ask for permission to do so. The zoning for a cemetery carries certain perpetuity clauses and restrictions so that later land owners know of the cemetery’s existence. The deed to the property has to have a restriction placed on it as well, again, so people will know of the cemetery’s existence at a later point in time. (You do not want to be sued later for someone’s emotional distress so it must be disclosed when you sell!)
The Funeral Board does not have jurisdiction over cemeteries. If you anticipate burial on private property, contact your attorney for guidance and do further research on it yourself.
The requirements to establish a cemetery are found in http://www.okfuneral.com/statutesrules/cemeteriesburialassoc.htm 8 O.S. §181.
http://law.justia.com/oklahoma/codes/os50.html scroll to 5042 for information on cemeteries in Oklahoma. It only shows that you cannot bury someone within a certain distance from an incorporated city.
Access Oklahoma’s state laws regarding human skeletal remains and associated burial furniture in Oklahoma State Statute Title 21 § 1168.1-7 through www.oscn.net
Look to state law if you were planning to have your property registered as a cemetery. Oklahoma law regarding cemeteries
The requirements to establish a cemetery are found in 8 O.S. §181. .L.1910, § 4265; Laws 1975, c. 306, § 1. §5042.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to lay out, establish, or use for burial purposes any cemetery, graveyard or burial grounds less than three fourths (3/4) of one (1) mile from the incorporated line of any city of more than five thousand (5,000) inhabitants within this state, or within four (4) miles from the incorporated line of any city of this state, having a population of more than sixty five thousand (65,000) inhabitants, and then within three fourths (3/4) of one (1) mile from any tract of land plotted into lots or blocks, or otherwise subdivided for residence purposes, wherein lots, tracts, or blocks have been sold in good faith for residence purposes prior to the time of the location, opening, or use for such burial ground, graveyard or cemetery.
Provided, that where cemeteries, graveyards or burial grounds have heretofore been used and maintained within less than three fourths (3/4) of one (1) mile from the incorporated line of any city of more than five thousand (5,000) inhabitants within this state, or not less than four (4) miles from the incorporated line of any city of this state, having a population of more than sixty five thousand (65,000) inhabitants, and not less than three fourths (3/4) of one (1) mile from any tract of land plotted into lots or blocks, or otherwise subdivided for residence purposes, wherein lots, tracts or blocks have been sold in good faith for residence purposes, and additional lands are required for cemetery purposes, any person owning lands adjacent, may lay out and use, or sell the same to such cemetery to be used as an addition to such cemetery, and the use of such additional lands for such purposes shall not be prohibited hereby.
Provided, however, that the provisions of this act shall not apply to the laying out, establishing, or using for burial purposes any cemetery, graveyard or burial ground in cities containing a population over three hundred thousand (300,000), according to the preceding Federal Decennial Census, whenever authority for such construction and operation has been obtained from a governmental planning commission having jurisdiction over zoning and building regulations covering the area wherein such cemetery, or burial ground is proposed to be located. http://law.justia.com/oklahoma/codes/os50.htm
Facts from the Oklahoma Funeral Board on burying on property
Can a family bury its own dead without using a licensed funeral director?
Yes. See 59 O.S. §396.19 for additional information. The family would be responsible to see that a death certificate is completed and filed at the health department.